Caruso St John Architects

Location: Toulouse, FR
Client: Kaufman and Broad Midi Pyrenees
Project Status: Competition, joint first prize

Caruso St John was one of several practices invited to design clusters of dwellings as part of a master plan for an area of countryside near Toulouse in south-west France.

The 60 hectare master plan drawn up by Bruno Fortier and Michel Desvigne, proposes a new kind of living that has neither the densely built-up qualities of the city centre nor the diffused lack of identity of a typical suburb. Instead it calls for a new kind of garden suburb, whose atmosphere is given by a powerful landscape. The design provided a total of 88 units combining a single solitaire-shaped apartment block, terraced housing and villas of large apartments.

A direct form of construction using in-situ concrete and timber is proposed. In the houses the concrete is used for the party walls and the garden boundaries, with all other vertical and horizontal structure in prefabricated timber elements. In the collective dwellings concrete is used for all of the walls and floors that separate individual apartments, with timber used for the internal partitions as a rainscreen on and the exterior walls.